WARSAW, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) — The Polish Football Association (PZPN) informed on Friday that coach Czeslaw Michniewicz will leave the Poland national team when his contract expires at the end of the year, despite leading the team to the last 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Poland qualified for the knock-out stages of a World Cup for the first time since 1986, losing 3-1 to France in Qatar. Advancing into the last 16 was a goal of the team before the tournament, but Michniewicz was criticized for his team’s defensive style.
On Tuesday, Michniewicz had declared that he was ready to extend his contract with the national team.
“The Polish Football Association informs that as of December 31, 2022, Czeslaw Michniewicz will cease to be the head coach of the Poland national team. During the meeting with the board representatives, the coach summed up the performance of the team at the World Cup in Qatar. After a thorough analysis of all the information, the PZPN decided not to extend Michniewicz’s contract, which expires at the end of the year,” read the PZPN statement.
“As we know, the coach took over the team in a very difficult moment. Despite these circumstances, he managed to book a ticket for the World Cup, and also kept our place in the Nations’ League elite. He led the national team to the first World Cup knockout stage in 36 years. That’s why Czeslaw Michniewicz deserves thanks,” said PZPN president Cezary Kulesza.
“However, in order to properly assess the coach’s work, we also had to take into account long-term ideas for the direction of the team’s development. Therefore we made the difficult decision to end our cooperation,” Kulesza added.
According to Polish media, the PZPN has already sounded out former Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic, ex-Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard and former Belgium coach Roberto Martinez as possible replacements.